Authored by Esther Wilson of SageKeep
using various research sources.
How do Vaccines work and when should we give them?
vaccine is a biological preparation
which is used to establish or improve immunity to a particular disease"
Note: My dissertation about vaccines here is NOT a political statement for
or against vaccines.
I believe a carefully moderated, informed
vaccine schedule is a rational choice by responsible pet owners.
However, vaccines are also a known culprit of many life threatening
problems. This makes the vaccine choice a very serious two-edged sword
that can bring help AND harm.
My purpose here is to offer some education
about the need for vaccines, vaccine manufacture process and
implementation as well as inform about some of the possible
negative/positive results from vaccination.
Decision to vaccinate and/or the decision to
not vaccinate both have one (1) important factor in common: they both
have the potential to be good or bad decisions for your pet. Both
choices can have negative repercussions. Both choices are risky.
Intelligent, responsible pet owners should
become educated about vaccines and make wise decisions for their pets'
Don't just trust your Vet, who may make a
bad decision for your pet.
Take personal responsibility for your pet's
best interest on all health matters, including vaccinations, by becoming
educated. Hopefully, that's why you're here.
PUPPIES = LEARN ABOUT WHERE IT
We'll start at the beginning of a
pup's life in order to help you get the whole picture.
An adult dog has acquired (or
not) certain immunities to various diseases based largely on two things:
(1) the dog has been vaccinated for the disease(s) and/or (2) the dog
has been exposed to the diseases and survived.
Some species gain immunities from
the mother's immune system while growing inside the mother's uterus.
This is not true with dogs/puppies.
When a puppy is newly born, it
basically has no immunities to several very common, very deadly diseases.
A mother that has freshly whelped
her puppies should produce "mother's first milk", also called "colostrum"
for about the first 24 hours after whelp. After about the first 24
hours, the mother's body will stop producing colostrum and will continue
to produce simply "mother's milk".
Also, the lining of a freshly
puppy's digestive tract (intestinal wall) is such that it will accept
immunities into it's bloodstream from it's mother's first milk. Within
about 24 to 36 hours, the lining of the newborn puppy's digestive tract changes
and it will gradually stop absorbing immunities from it's mother's milk.
So it is vitally important that a newborn puppy nurse from it's mother
as much as possible within the first 24 to 48 hours before the window
closes on the pup's ability to absorb immunities from it's mother's
After the newborn pup's window of
24 to 36 hours is closed, it does not matter how much the pup nurses on
the mother - the pup's body will not accept any further immunities from
it's mother, even though the pup's body will continue to require mother's
milk for all other aspects of survival.
Also, it's possible that the
mother's body may quit producing "colostrum" in her milk while her
puppies are still able to absorb immunities. So the mother's window of
time to provide colostrum may be shorter than the puppy's ability to
If the puppy has not nursed on
its mother's milk within the first 24 to 36 hours, it is likely that
puppy has little to no immunities unless it was supplemented with a
nutrition source that could offer such (and I know of no other sources
but my knowledge is limited- bovine colostrum will simply not have the
necessary immunities to infectious canine diseases like Parvo or
IMPORTANT: The puppy can only
receive those immunities that it's mother has to offer. For instance, if
the mother has acquired no immunity to Parvo, then the puppy cannot
receive any immunity to Parvo from it's mother (because she has none to
give). At the same time, if
this same mother has immunity to Distemper, the puppy should gain some
immunity to Distemper (because she had immunity to Distemper even though she didn't have any
immunity to Parvo to offer). So, a mother can only pass on those
antibodies to her pups that she already has in her system.
The immunities that a puppy
absorbs within the first 24-36 hours from it's mother's milk are called
"Passive Immunity". This is because the immunities are not actually part
of the puppy's own immune system. Rather, these are immunities borrowed
from the mother that act as a defense system independent of the pup's
own immune system.
The immunities "borrowed" from
the mother in the first 24-36 hours of nursing do NOT stimulate the
pup's system to create immunity. The borrowed immunities are indeed
that, "borrowed" only and will wane in the weeks following birth.
An important factor called "The
Window of Susceptibility" begins to open when the immunities borrowed
from the mother begin to wane in the pup's bloodstream. Once the
borrowed immunities have waned, the pup is vulnerable to those diseases
that it had previously been immune to because of the maternal antibodies. This waning of borrowed
immunities is a process that happens over the course of the weeks
following the puppy's birth. The level of protection will "wane" or
decline as the pup matures and is an individual process with each pup.
In other words, the waning process of these borrowed immunities is
unique to each pup.
This means that the Timing for the Window of
Susceptibility is different for each puppy and each litter. It depends
on many factors like: what immunities did the mother have to offer, how
strong were those immunities that the mother had to offer, how much of
these immunities did the puppy assimilate, how quick is the waning
process in that particular pup, etc.
It's thought that the Window of
Susceptibility may begin when the average puppy is somewhere between the ages of
to 8 weeks - understanding that each puppy is different. The crux of the
problem is that there is no real way to know when this Window has
seriously opened for a particular puppy to leave it vulnerable (at what level the borrowed
immunities have waned at a given age of the puppy). The borrowed
immunities in one puppy may have fully waned about age 7 weeks while it's littermate
may retain the borrowed immunities on a stronger level until, say, age 8
There is a helpful resource
called a "Titre" (pronounced 'tighter'). A Vet can draw the pup's blood
and have it analyzed to see what immunities are present. Many good
breeders will have a titre run on their bitch prior to breeding her, to
help them understand her levels of immunities against the various
diseases. A Titre on the bitch (prior to breeding) can be a good
indicator of what immunities the bitch will have to offer her newborn
pups. The problem is that a titre is not absolute fact. It's a
really good guess, but it could present wrong information. So it is
important to understand that a blood titre is not totally reliable but
should produce a good guess-timate to work from.
Again, the immunities derived
from mother's first milk in the first 24-36 hours of life are not part
of the pup's own immune system, these borrowed immunities will not
stimulate the pup's own immune system at all and these borrowed immunities will wane
as the pup matures and should be fully waned when the pup is aged
between about 6 to 8 weeks.
Again, the mother can only lend
those immunities she has. A puppy cannot get passive immunities from its
mother if she doesn't have those immunities to give.
The purpose of vaccinating a
puppy is to stimulate the puppy's own immune system to mount an immune
response against a disease(s). This is called "Active Immunity".
The timing of puppy vaccination
is very critical. You want to vaccinate the puppy as soon as it is
vulnerable to disease(s) but you must vaccinate after the decline of the
borrowed mother's immunities is at a level where the vaccine can "pass
through" the maternal antibodies to accomplish an active immune response
If a puppy is vaccinated during
the time when it's borrowed immunities are still strong enough to fend
off the disease(s) that the vaccination is against, then those borrowed
immunities will destroy the vaccination's worth to that pup's
independent immune system and no "active immunity" is created. Basically, the borrowed immunities from the
mother will defend the puppy even against the vaccine - if those
borrowed immunities happen to be at a sufficiently strong enough level
when the vaccine is given. This situation would render that vaccination
completely worthless. The problem here is that you may believe the puppy
is vaccinated, and therefore is developing it's own body's immune
response, when the fact is that the borrowed immunities have nullified
the vaccine's intent - leaving the puppy defenseless as the borrowed
In this situation, you won't know
that your puppy is, in fact, completely vulnerable to those diseases
that you vaccinated it for. (See also "high titre/low passage vaccine"
discussion below). So even though you've vaccinated your puppy, this
doesn't mean the vaccine "worked" to stimulate the puppy's immune system
to mount active immunity.
The fact that the first puppy
vaccine may not yield the desired result is the purpose of the second
puppy vaccine scheduled about 3 weeks after the first puppy vaccine.
This second vaccine schedule takes into account the possibility that the first
vaccine could have been rendered useless by the borrowed immunities by
the mother AND that those borrowed immunities should have fully waned by
two weeks later.
Most of the time, the second
scheduled puppy vaccine should work to stimulate the pup's immune
system effectively and create active immunity, even if the first vaccine had been defeated by the borrowed
Another reason for the second
puppy vaccine is that, perhaps the first puppy vaccine did provoke an
immune response but that response is not strong enough to readily defend the
pup against the disease(s). Most veterinary researchers believe that
the second puppy vaccine could be sufficient for a reliable active
However, because there is the
significant potential that the second vaccine was also defeated by the borrowed
immunities AND there is also potential that the second vaccine did not
stimulate enough of an immune response for the puppy to be fully
protected, Veterinary professionals recommend a third puppy vaccine to
be given 6 weeks after the first vaccine, which is 3 weeks after the
Typical age of vaccination:
7 or 8 weeks: first vaccination
10 or 11 weeks: second vaccination
13 or 14 weeks: third vaccination
Some Vets prefer the old stand-by
vaccine schedule which calls for the last vaccine to be given when the
pup is aged 16 weeks.
Again, the timing of these
vaccinations can be a critical component to get your puppy immunized
against deadly diseases like Parvo, Distemper and Hepatitis.
good vaccination schedule for your puppy - especially don't delay the
second vaccine!! and remember that the third vaccine could make a big
WHAT TYPE OF VACCINES TO GIVE
When you give a vaccine to your
puppy, you are injecting the actual disease(s) into your puppy's body.
Basically, vaccines are
manufactured by using the live disease organism.
Monovalent vaccine is a
solitary vaccine that innoculates against just one (1) disease. Rabies
is a good example of a typical monovalent vaccine. Multivalent
vaccines have innoculation against several diseases combined in one
vaccine. DAP is one good example of this (Distemper, Adenovirus and
Parvovirus). Sometimes, it is best to use monovalent vaccine so that you
do not overload the dog's immune system. Sometimes, as with initial
puppy vaccines, it may be best to use the multivalent vaccines so you
get coverage against an important array of diseases. If you need to
vaccinate against several diseases, as with a puppy, it's best to do them all in one
vaccine because giving separate vaccines a few days apart may not
achieve the desired result. For instance, if you vaccinate for Parvo
first, then a few days later vaccinate for Distemper, the dog's immune
system may not respond at all to the Distemper vaccine because it is
responding in full force to the Parvo vaccine. For premium efficacy,
give the various vaccines together - or separate them by a month or two
apart, minimum. In young puppies, it's probably more important to get
them immunized as fully as possible - conservatively as possible.
Vaccines are traditionally
introduced into the body by one of two methods: injection
(syringe & needle) or intranasal (through the nose).
Most vaccines are submitted by injection, usually Sub-Q (under the skin,
not in the muscle, for slower impact).
I've personally witnessed that
many intranasal vaccines cause problems with the dog's nose/nasal
passage (allergic response) that can leave permanent damage to the dog's
nose and nasal passages. I know of a specific Berner who had been given
Bordetella vaccine intranasal for 5 years, always resulting in a
worsening ravaged nose and nasal passage, and his Vet swore that the
Bordetella vaccine had nothing to do with the ugly, chronic nasal
problem (but never offered an alternate culprit). This Berner was
ultimately surrendered back to his breeder, who employed various healing
agents and got the nose and nasal passage completely healed - and who
never gave the dog another intranasal (or any) vaccine. The dog's nose
Also, it is well documented that
vaccine injection sites can and may produce cancer at that site. I've
had this happen to several of my dogs over the years and this is a VERY
MODIFIED LIVE VACCINE
Traditional modified live
vaccines are made by weakening (attenuate) a particular
disease organism (virus, bacteria, fungus, etc). The goal is to capture alive
but weakened portions of the disease that should be harmless and use them to create a
vaccine against the disease.
adjuvant (also called "carrier") must be partnered with the
attenuated disease organism within the vaccine in order to create the
desired immune response. The adjuvant basically irritates
the immune system and thereby stimulates it to find its partner disease
organism that is
also contained in the vaccine.
The problem with adjuvants
(carriers) is that they are believed to be a very problematic part of
the vaccine: potentially carcinogenic (cancer causing) and prone to
spark allergy response.
A modified live vaccine has the
best potential for stimulating an immune response because it is alive,
a living disease organism and therefore the pup's body should mount a stronger defense against a
Typical vaccines that use the
"modified live" method are for diseases like:
Parvo, Distemper, Hepatitis (AdenoVirius
1 & 2), Parainfluenza, etc.
HIGH TITRE/LOW PASSAGE
This is a type of modified live
vaccine that has a "high particle" content that are attenuated (low
passage). This can be a better choice for very young puppies because it
offers a better chance at getting past (breaks through) maternal
antibodies. This is especially true of "high titre parvovirus vaccines.
I will use only high titre/low passage modified live vaccines on my
young puppies because these vaccines offer the best potential to
stimulate the desired immune response.
Some diseases are so virulent
that it is a bad idea to use a "modified live" method for vaccine
manufacture. For these diseases, the actual disease organism is killed and then
the vaccine is made from that disease.
Just like a modified live
vaccine, killed vaccines require an adjuvant ("carrier") to stimulate
the immune system to find the disease and respond to it.
A typical vaccine that uses "Killed"
method is for Rabies.
One HUGE problem with killed
disease vaccines (and also modified live vaccines) is that, in a given
batch of vaccines, the disease was not fully controlled (not fully
"killed") in that batch's
manufacture process. Yes, this faulty manufacture will create a HUGE
problem that will require recalls of that batch of vaccines.
Fort Dodge, a drug company that
makes vaccines, is infamous for poor quality vaccine manufacture process
that has created batches of compromised vaccines. They have recalled
various of their vaccines because the poorly manufactured vaccine
actually created the disease in the dogs it was given to. I personally
know of a few dogs who acquired rabies directly from a faulty
rabies vaccine made by Fort Dodge - and the Vets who gave the rabies
vaccine were completely unaware of the vaccine's batch recall.
Recombinant vaccines are created
by using yeast or bacteria to produce large quantities of a single viral
or bacterial protein. This protein is purified and made part of a
vaccine. The theory is that, after injection, this protein stimulates the
puppy's immune system to make antibodies against the disease's protein
and this should protect the puppy from acquiring the disease.
The primary benefit of the
recombinant vaccine is safety: the agent is a protein of the disease
rather than the actual disease organism and, therefore, this sort of
vaccine should have virtually no ability to create the disease upon
vaccination (unlike modified live or killed vaccines, which employ the
actual disease organism and can cause
the full-blown disease after vaccination).
A secondary and very important
benefit is that the recombinant vaccine does not require a adjuvant
(carrier). So this helps eliminate a significant portion of the cancer
factor inherent in traditional vaccines as well as lowering the risk of
allergic reaction upon vaccination.
At the time I wrote this webpage,
the only Recombinant vaccine that I could find in production for dogs is
for Distemper. The name is Recombitek by Merial. I used this vaccine on
my litter of puppies in September 2007 when the puppies were 7 weeks
old. Out of 12 puppies in this litter, 8 puppies had swollen faces in
allergic reaction. Low dose of Benadryl for each pup saved the day.
However, as they've matured, these puppies have gone on to display a
perpetually, very mildly swollen third eyelid(s) - even as they approach
adulthood. Various veterinary ophthalmologists who have examined these
(older) puppies have found no significant abnormality worthy of note and
the pups' eyes to be "Normal". I personally believe the Recombitek
vaccine created this third eyelid issue as I have only ever seen it
happen otherwise to Berners in response to a Rabies vaccine. I will not
use Recombitek vaccine again anytime soon. I have never had this third
eyelid issue result in puppies who were given my standard Proguard-5 by
VACCINATE OR NOT TO VACCINATE
If you don't vaccinate your
Berner, then s/he is vulnerable to those diseases that typically strike
dogs and many of these diseases are potentially or fully fatal.
CERTAINLY the diseases are dreadful for your dog to endure and they are
CERTAINLY expensive for you to pay for.
of Berner breeders who didn't vaccinate (because of the problems that
vaccines can create) and their Berners died from the diseases that
vaccination could've prevented. Very sad. I know of very few Berners
who've never been vaccinated and never got the diseases that vaccines
exist to prevent. (I strongly suggest you intelligently, conservatively
vaccinate your Berner).
If you vaccinate your Berner,
then s/he is vulnerable to complications that can arise from
vaccination. Some complications are more dangerous than others. Some are
life threatening, potentially fatal. I know of several Berners who've
experienced lifelong complications from vaccines - and I also know of a few Berners
who've died as a direct result of vaccines.
Either way, its a crap shoot.
My view is to use a vaccination
protocol that is an informed best guess, that has the highest chances of
good health for your Berner in as many regards as possible -
understanding that your best guess could be right or wrong.
Relying on your Vet to choose a
vaccination type and schedule is not only incredibly lazy, I feel it is
one earmark of an irresponsible dog owner. It certainly leaves your dog
vulnerable to someone who was taught about vaccines ONLY from the
(prejudiced) vaccine manufacturer.
My vaccine protocol is to use as
few vaccines as possible while achieving sufficient immune response AND to
only use those vaccines that should have the best ability to stimulate
immunity without causing other problems. In other words, I want the best of
both worlds for my dog and this is the reason I got educated enough that
I could even write this whole webpage to help you.
I've used Proguard 5 by Intervet
for the past 7 years. I have only had excellent results to report. This
is the vaccine recommended by Colorado State University, who performed
the ONLY long-term study of vaccines on dogs.
DO VACCINES ALWAYS WORK?
The short answer is "NO",
vaccines don't always work.
In puppies, the maternal
antibodies may block the vaccine's work. Other situations can also
prevent a vaccine from working as it should:
the use of steriods
presence of fever and/or other diseases
and other similar events.
Importantly, vaccines require
careful handling, e.g., prompt and consistent cold storage at certain
temperatures, etc. The usefulness (viability) of a vaccine can be
compromised by lack of careful handling and you'd never know that the
vaccine had been compromised until your dog acquired the disease for
which it had been vaccinated.
Another reason a vaccine may not
work has to do with a disease's evolution. For instance, when Parvo
arrived on the scene in the 1960's, it arrived in a fairly innocuous
form called "CPV-1" (Canine Parvovirus 1). A vaccine was never built for
CPV-1 because veterinary professionals and vaccine manufacturers deemed
it unnecessary to create one because the disease's symptoms were mild.
However, in the 1970's, a variant of Parvovirus appeared and this was an
incredibly virulent, often fatal virus. The name given to this
Parvovirus is "CPV-2" (Canine Parvovirus 2). Because of the serious
nature of it, a vaccine was quickly built to defend against CPV-2
strains. Until recent years, there were only 2 strains of the deadly
CPV2. These are CPV-2(a) & CPV-2(b). These strains are in the vaccine for Parvo that you commonly find in the vaccine
However, beginning about year 2000 or so, a new
strain Parvo emerged. Called CPV-2(c), it is a little more virulent than the
former CPV-2 strains. The researchers believe this strain originated in
Italy and the University of Oklahoma has verified this strain is now
found (throughout) the USA.
The traditional vaccine for
CPV-2 may help certain dogs defend against the new CPV-2(c) strain, but may
offer no help whatsoever. Very recently, a vaccine has been introduced
into the marketplace for CPV-2(c) and basically, my research says it's
been incorportated with the other CPV-2 strains in may of the vaccines
available in the marketplace.
So the evolution of a particular disease may supercede (survive) the
I use only
CORE vaccines. These are the vaccines that defend against the
DISTEMPER VIRUS (CDV)
Parvovirus: If you think your puppy probably won't get
Parvo if you don't vaccinate, I'd like to share the story of one Berner
breeder who doesn't believe in traditional vaccines and has lost SEVERAL
GORGEOUS SHOW DOGS to Parvo (ages from 3 months to 10 months). Also, I've
nearly lost dogs to Parvo and my dogs were traditionally vaccinated!
This disease can attack very young puppies and older puppies as old as 1
year or 18 months, even those dogs that have been traditionally
vaccinated. Typically, older dogs are immune to Parvo but not always.
The virus is NOT what kills the dog. As the virus runs its course
through the young dog, it reduces the lining of the digestive tract to
complete ruination. This creates internal bleeds and serious, often
fatal secondary infections. The virus doesn't kill the puppy. The
secondary infections that result from the virus are what kills the
puppy. Parvo puppies have a distinct smell / odor, especially their
vomit and their diarrhea. Once you smell it, you'll never forget it. The
key to your pup's survival over Parvo is quick response with IV fluids
and antibiotics to kill the secondary infections. Currently, there only
one vaccine available for Parvo and that is for Canine Parovirus 2
(CPV-2). There is a new and incredibly dreadful strain called CPV-2(c) for
which we only recently can purchase a vaccine against.
Parvovirus (CPV-2) can be cured,
but the survival rate isn't very high. Much depends on how quickly
medical intervention happens and on the age and general health of the
dog. The survival rate is even lower
for the new strain of Parvo. A quality CPV-2 vaccine is your best bet in
helping to defend your puppy against Parvo.
Want to learn more about
dealing with Parvo? Go here:
Canine distemper is a highly contagious,
incurable, often fatal, multisystemic viral disease that affects the
respiratory, gastrointestinal, and central nervous systems. Not long
ago, Distemper was the leading cause of death in un-immunized puppies.
Older dogs can get distemper, so it's not limited to puppies. Focus on
this term: Distemper is INCURABLE - unable to be cured. Here's a
great source to learn more about Canine Distemper:
Canine Adenovirus: There are two types of Canine Adenovirus.
One type is CAV-1, which is a type of Canine Hepatitis (also called
"Canine Infectious Hepatitis). The second is CAV-2 (also called
"tracheobronchitis" or a type of kennel cough (not bordetella)), which
causes respiratory and enteric infections. The two viruses are very
similar and vaccination typically offers a crossover type of protection.
Canine Hepatitis is primarily a disease of the liver, although it
involves other body organs as well. The most vulnerable dogs to Canine
Adenovirus are unvaccinated young dogs that are less than about 1 year
old, although older dogs that have not been vaccinated are also at risk.
Canine Adenovirus can easily be a fatal disease in any dog, especially
To read more about CAV-1 & CAV-2, go here:
is 100% fatal in dogs. Also very importantly, Rabies is a zoonotic
disease. This means humans can get it from dogs (and other mammals). And
that means that human society will NOT tolerate the risk of
non-vaccinated dogs (cats, etc). This is the reason our laws are so
strict about Rabies vaccination in our pets. Having said that, the
Rabies vaccine is incredibly potent and also potentially fatal to our
dogs (and cats). It's my view that the Rabies vaccine is the most
problematic of all CORE vaccines and it solicits the highest percentage
of negative allergy reaction of any single vaccine. I personally know of
many - M A N Y - dogs that have died from Rabies vaccine. This vaccine
is truly a very sharp, two edged sword that doesn't offer an easy path
with either choice. It has been scientifically proven by studies that
our current nationally accepted protocol for rabies vaccination in dogs
and cats is far more than what is needed. There is a movement to have
the rabies vaccination schedule reduced and I wish this movement great
success. The rabies vaccine is a horrid atomic bomb to the dog's body
and our laws mandate that we use this fertile atomic bomb on our dog
many times during it's lifetime.
Colorado State University advises to use this Rabies Vaccine: Imrab®3
by Rhone Merieux. Again, CSU has performed the only long term study that
exists on vaccines in dogs.
Here are some sources to read more about Rabies vaccine in dogs:
BORDETELLA: "Kennel Cough" is the result of one or
several respiratory diseases that are highly contagious. Bordetella is just one of the infectious respiratory diseases that a dog
can get. The Bordetella vaccine does NOT immunize the dog against all
forms of Kennel Cough - just against one specific strain of Kennel
Cough. The most common versions of
Kennel Cough (source being Bordetella, or Parainfluenza, or Mycoplasma,
or whatever) will have mild to moderate symptoms and require little
intervention. Like any virus, Kennel Cough will run its course and the
dog must endure the symptoms, such as they are, until the course is
finished. There are few comforts that we can offer a dog with mild
symptoms of Kennel Cough. It is critical to keep an infected dog away
from other dogs until the dog is no longer infectious. While this disease is
typically not fatal, sometimes this disease can get serious and require
the intervention of veterinary medical helps like antibiotics, cough suppressants, IV Fluids, etc. The best prevention is to not allow your
dog to be exposed to Kennel Cough. I personally know of Berners who had
serious allergy reaction to the intranasal vaccine for Bordella. If you
must give this vaccine, don't use the intranasal version AND be aware
that all versions of this vaccine can be problematic with allergy
response by your Berner. I rarely use this vaccine on my Berners.
CORONAVIRUS: At worst, this is a mild canine disease that is
all but eradicated in our society today. While puppies less than about 6
weeks old may be vulnerable, its still a very rare disease. There are no
documented long term effects from this disease.
Oftentimes, Vets may misdiagnose a dog citing this disease, because this
particular disease is incredibly tough to accurately diagnose. Vomiting
and diarrhea are the common symptoms (and these fade within a week or
so), which are also symptoms very common to other illnesses.
The vaccine is fairly worthless and most
always unnecessary, especially in dogs over 6 weeks old. Learn more
about this disease here:
Importantly, Bernese Mountain Dogs have been known to have adverse
reactions to the vaccine for Leptospirosis (Lepto), which is a usual
part of a 6-way or 7-way vaccine. One adverse reaction is potentially
fatal, severe allergy response within a few hours (or minutes) after
vaccination. The specific allergen is thought to be
the carrier (adjuvant) used in creating this vaccine. In my own
research, I know of no Bernese Mountain Dog that has aquired Asceptic
Menengitis that did not also have a Lepto vaccination. Lastly, there is
a new paper published in a traditionally peer-review format by a PHD
researcher at Texas A & M who has proven that the Lepto vaccine can
cause orthopedic development problems in Bernese Mountain Dogs. These
three serious problems are the reason I don't give this vaccine to my
Berners and I strongly advocate withholding this vaccine from Berner
puppies born in my kennel.
There are several
versions of Lepto, none of which are commonly fatal (but can be) and
none of which are all covered in one (1) vaccine. In fact, very few
strains of Lepto are covered in the available vaccine. Lepto is basically a
bacterial infection that is very tough to diagnose because it shares so
many symptoms with many other illnesses (vomiting, diarrhea,
dehydration, fever, loss-of-appetite, etc.). Lepto is commonly
successfully treated with the use of antibiotics like penicillin,
tetracycline and erythromycin. It is a fact that a Lepto vaccine is only
effective for about 6 months to 9 months after innoculation. Therefore,
if one was concerned about infection of this illness, a dog would need
to be vaccinated twice annually to be fully innoculated against only
those few strains of Lepto for which there is avaccine.
WORK IN PROGRESS - this
webpage still under construction!!
FACT: Vets are
educated at Vet Schools toward a vaccine protocol promoted by the drug
companies who sell the vaccines.
FACT: There is only one (1) study
available on long-term impact of vaccines on dogs and cats. This study
was done by the Colorado State University and results can be found here:
Note: Their study
was prompted by some anomalies found in cat vaccines:
FACT: Colorado State
University found that our pets are being seriously over-vaccinated by
the current protocol most Vets use and this has been directly linked
with many various health issues.
I've had MANY - MANY - dogs
and cats who've had minor to serious negative health reactions that
directly link to vaccination. Perhaps the most common reaction is
allergic intolerance to the Rabies vaccine. These symptoms are often
swelling of the glands in various places on the head and swelling of the
third eyelid. Symptoms that can happen, but I haven't seen in my
Berners, are: DEATH, contraction of the disease for which they'd
been vaccinated, hair loss, various infections, etc. Perhaps the second most common reaction I've seen is the
acquisition of full-blown Parvo-Virus via the vaccine in young puppies.
FACT: When you give your dog a
vaccine, you are actually injecting that very disease into your dog. If
the vaccine you choose to give has more than one vaccine in it (and the
most common vaccine today is a '7-way'), then that vaccine is
power-packed with ALL SEVEN DISEASES. Yes, this means you're injected
small portions of those seven diseases into your dog's body at one time.
FACT: Vaccines negatively
impact the immune system by disabling it. The THEORY is the a small
amount of the actual disease will promote an immune response, which then
establishes a resistance to the disease.
I've lost count of the many
dogs I've lived with whose health was negatively, permanently impacted
Moreover, people give vaccines
to their dogs every year - never first checking to see if their dog's
immune system needed the jolt.
SOLUTION: If you must
vaccinate your dog, then before you vaccinate PLEASE GET A TITRE to test
and see if your dog's immune system really needs another vaccine.
A titre is acquired through a
simple blood draw that tests for present antibodies. This way, you can
tell if your dog really needs another vaccine - or not.